Isis release brutal execution videos of Mosul 'spies'

Isis has released one of its most gruesome videos to date, showing a series of executions of Iraqi prisoners using a variety of methods including RPG, drowning and tying explosives to the heads of their victims.

Jihadi monitoring service Site Intelligence published images from the video, believed to have been filmed in Nineveh province near Mosul. Their pictures shows five prisoners in red jumpsuits locked in a cage being lowered into water while other images show a number of prisoners sitting in a car before a militant fires an RPG towards it.

In the scene where the men are drowned, the group use underwater cameras to record the prisoners' struggle as they are dragged below the water's surface. The cage is then pulled from the pool to show the men apparently dead and foaming at the mouth.

Another gruesome tactic used by the members of the terror group in the seven-minute video is the attachment of explosives to the heads of seven prisoners, connected together by the explosive necklace, before detonation. All of the scenes appear to be filmed by HD cameras.

Isis allege that the men are spies working for the Iraqi government inside Mosul, Iraq's second city currently under Isis control, against the terror group. Prisoners are made to speak in the video about the crimes they are being accused of and their treatment at the hands of the group.

Benjamin Decker, senior intelligence analyst at geopolitical risk consultancy The Levantine Group, says that the executions are intended to increase fear among the population of Mosul and deter any form of collaboration with the Iraqi government.

"Since September, you have had the rise of several Mosul-based resistance groups," notes Decker. "They have carried out a series of guerilla attacks against mid-level IS commanders which has invigorated people to believe there will be a life in Mosul after Isis."

"Essentially, a lot of these execution videos, which are far more gruesome than the early executions and are often public spectacles, try to demonstrate that the local population will not have a life outside of Isis," he adds. "It shows them that if you try to collaborate with the Iraqi regime, they will kill you in a fashion like this."

Since its rampage across the Middle East last summer, capturing large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria to create its caliphate, the group have continuously used gruesome propaganda to deter dissent and also to recruit young, brainwashed Western nationals.

The group released videos for a number of Western hostages being beheaded such as the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker Alan Henning. They also produced a video of them barbarically burning Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh who was part of the US-led coalition fighting the group.

Elsewhere, the group has destroyed the tomb of Sheikh Mohammed Ali near Palmyra after announcing it would begin "removing the landmarks of polytheism" in the area, Rami Abdel Rahman, founder of the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), confirmed to Newsweek today.